The New Year marks a fresh start, which is the perfect time to reflect on the past year and set new year’s resolutions. This is also a great opportunity to start a new habit.
Let’s reflect for a moment: What habits did you start building last year, and how have you progressed in them? What habits would you like to continue, get rid of, and start this year?
This process might seem overwhelming at first, but don’t worry! Each new habit you implement can be targeted towards a specific aspect in your life — so when you start building new goals for this year, it may be easier to set one goal for each category (feel free to set more habit goals if you are comfortable with it). Becoming consistent in one new habit can start a snowball effect, and lead to more positive habits, which will eventually improve your life!
Grab a notebook or open a new digital page, and let’s start reflecting and goal setting together! Here are some ideas to get you started.
Physical Health & Fitness
I am sure that many peoples’ new year’s resolutions include some form of goal related to exercise. Although these goals can be a broken record for some people, just know that when setting goals, it is important to be realistic and be kind to yourself. You do not need to be perfectly consistent or highly skilled in any fitness activities. I like to think of fitness or exercising as just one part of maintaining or improving my overall physical health because other factors contribute to health. As we still live in the pandemic era, I believe that taking care of our physical health should be a priority. Here are some physical health and fitness habits to start building this year:
- Eaitng balanced meals
- Skin care
- Consistent sleep schedule
- Consistent morning and night routines
- Exercise: walking, running, yoga, pilates, jump rope, cycling, and etc.
This is perhaps the most integral, yet most easily forgotten aspect of habit building. When Simon Biles resigned from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to prioritize her mental health, it was a wake-up call to people around the world, but especially in Japan where mental health was not as openly talked about as in the U.S., Her decision showed everyone that despite having excellent physical health and skills in a certain career or activity, you should always prioritize your mental health first, as it can affect all other aspects of your life.
Here are some habits I want to continue, as well as start practicing this year.
- Less screen time (especially on social media)
- Make time for self-care
- Journaling (analogue or digital)
Another aspect to start building positive habits for is learning — anything related to developing your intellectual knowledge, whether that be in academics or solely for accumulating knowledge for personal development. I think it is important to practice good habits for learning because regardless of whether you are a student or not, you will always be a learner in life. Here are some habits to incorporate into your daily routine:
- Reading books
- Reading the newspaper
- Reading magazines
- Listening to podcasts
- Researching topics of interest (non-academic)
- Watching TED talks
Skills & New Hobbies
Last but not least, starting a new skill or hobby can be a new habit that you can enjoy, which makes it easier to stay consistent with. This also leads to self-discipline, so you would be killing two birds with one stone! Here are some ideas:
- Trying a new sport
- Learning how to dance
- Learning how to play a musical instrument
- Starting a creative project: painting, drawing, sewing, etc.
- Starting a new niche hobby: eg. starting an Instagram account dedicated to your interest, like food or film photography
I hope these ideas inspire you to start a new habit this year to make a positive change in your life.